1999 Kia Carnival from Australia and New Zealand


A lemon of a car - BUT who really cares!


September 2007... Can take no more of this make of car and am banishing it to the wreckers!! I could not possibly resell this car to an unsuspecting family.

We too had a large family and the Carnival answered all our problems as we thought... however it has been an ongoing saga for 7 years. We thought do the right thing, service the vehicle and keep all the jobs up to the car and all is good, 3 engines later it's time to move on. I Do not recommend this vehicle to any one.

*Handbrake does not hold.

*Door rails had to be replaced.

*Power Steering failed.

*The sensor light continuously on.

*Brakes replaced/Squealing.

*First engine replaced- head gaskets.

* Second engine replaced due to blown head gasket- no warning lights.

* Third engine replaced due to blown head gaskets.

General Comments:

This car is very comfortable to travel long distance in.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th October, 2007

1999 Kia Carnival LS from Australia and New Zealand


A car to stay away from and not to buy


Head gasket blew.

Engine seized.




General Comments:

The car is roomy enough for our 5 kids, but I only had the car for 2 1/2 years, and now it is blown up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th July, 2006

1999 Kia Carnival LS 2.5Ltt V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Has been an economical family people mover, no problems


Handbrake linkages and cables had to be replaced under warranty as handbrake would not hold vehicle on slight incline.

Spark plug leads replaced at 55,000 km under warranty as two of the six leads failed.

Front disc pads replaced at 50,000 km due to excessive squeeling. No problems with replacement pads.

Rear brake shoes required machining due to brakes locking up when reversing or rolling back over gutters etc.

Power steering hose commenced to leak at 95,000 km.

Overall, not many things have gone wrong with this vehicle, fingers crossed.

General Comments:

100,000 km service performed at 5 years and 2 months of age with ALL camshaft belts, fan belt, seals and radiator hose o'rings replaced. No engine problems at all experienced during the 5 years, though many other friends who own automatic Carnival's have had blown head gaskets.

Great family / people mover. Air conditioning / heating of vehicle is exceptional. Fuel consumption of this vehicle is great, especially on long trips and even when fully loaded.

Value for money vehicle. You get what you pay for, a cheap affordable people mover.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd December, 2004

29th Jan 2010, 01:49

Praise yourself lucky. You are probably the only Carnival owner in the world that hasn't replaced the head gaskets or one of the head on your car.

Regarding the transmission, I guess that the manuals are more sturdy than the automatics.

9th Feb 2010, 20:42


I too have a 2000 model Kia Carnival that I purchased new and had it serviced religiously in accordance with the servicing schedule.

The car still has its original engine totally untouched at 150,000kms. The only work has been to replace the timing belts and spark plugs at 100K, and replacing the coolant in accordance with the maintenance schedule. I could not be happier with the car.

Pity the same could not be said for my daughter's Toyota V6 Camry; the head gaskets have been done twice in 40,000kms.

1999 Kia Carnival 2.5 DOHC petrol from Australia and New Zealand


This is a thoroughly *WRETCHED* vehicle


Blew head gasket at 50,000Km, whilst we were at least 50Km from any persons or even mobile phone coverage. Limped back with rests. Even trying to rest it every Km or so we still managed to warp the head - so it had to have a new LONG engine not a short one. KIA Australia wore part of the cost, but we were still out of pocket over A$4200.

Then it went OK for about 10 months and broke (stuck in 5th gear) midnight one Saturday night. Cost A$1600 to pull the engine out and check the transmission. Fault was a sheared bolt in the shift fork control assembly inside the gearbox. Sheared due to over-torquing at assembly time in the KIA factory that is.

Then it went OK for another 10 months and has now suffered a repeat of "stuck in gear". This time it is stuck in 3rd gear.

Called the dealer who did the first transmission repair and they said they would be happy to fix it AND it would not cost me anything IF it proved to be the same fault. However it would be another A$1600 or so if the fault were different, and it would be over 2 months before they could look at it because they have 2 months' worth of KIA Carnivals sitting in their parking lot waiting for new engines. So I'm pulling out the engine and gearbox myself and will fix it myself. That will take quite some time since this is a major job. Thank goodness I bought the service manual with the Carnival.

I know many mechanics who refuse to work on these vehicles. The local mechanic who I use for routine stuff described the Carnival as "diabolical" to work upon.

General Comments:

This vehicle is the worst I've ever owned. It is fine whilst it is going - but it is never going.

This car makes my earlier lemons (e.g. Alfa Romeo) look like gems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th November, 2004

1st May 2005, 13:23

Oh dear.

54k and?less than 3 yrs, head gasket gone, have until now been happy with car. I hope I am just inside warranty period.

4th Aug 2005, 01:58

Had carnival for 3 years now, had initial problems with the O2 sensors continuously, but don't get them anymore. I think the serviceman has disconnected them altogether to keep me away. Then Blew engine due to overheating, but had no warning at all from instruments. Cost was astronomical and now damn thing keeps requiring service to ensure clean running. getting rid of this lemon and never going back.

1999 Kia Carnival LS 2.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand




Hand Brake drops even with a slight touch of the release button.

Took 9 months for KIA to admit and repair handbrake.

Rotor (disk brake) replaced at 10000km & 35000km.

The second rotor replacement was apparently GOODWILL (??).

When braking even at 10km/hr, the car doesn't stop fully.

Will still move by a few inches so what more at 50km/hr.

Rattles everywhere from Driver's Door, Rear Passenger Door & Dashboard.

Sliding Door, won't close until massive force is used.

Seats cushion has gone bad to worst even at 45000km only.

General Comments:

Very poorly built car.

Not even worth $10,000 for the metal.

Not worth risking your family with this car.

Just can't afford to replace.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st July, 2003

1999 Kia Carnival LS 2.5 petrol V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Good price, but mechanically a


Audio System didn't work when vehicle picked up from dealer.

Part of Dashboard surround was cracked.

Seat Belt height adjuster inoperable.

Glove Box jammed shut.

Trim around sliding doors came off.

Vehicle is on its third set of front brake pads. Rotors have already been replaced once.

Excessive tyre wear.

Blown head gasket.

General Comments:

Vehicle was good value for money.

Plenty of room for large family.

Terrible turning circle

Noisy motor

Excellent air conditioning.

Good sound system.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th June, 2002